AIBA Cancells Forum in Italy Due To Coronavirus

Scheduled for February 29th in Assisi, Italy AIBA European Forum 2020 is cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). This decision was taken by AIBA leadership in the best interests of the delegates.

“The coronavirus outbreak in Italy worsened and Italy has by far the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe. Moreover, Italy has imposed strict quarantine restrictions in some regions which could last for weeks. Based on these sad circumstances, we are left with no option but to cancel the EUBC Forum, which was scheduled to take place on February 29th in Assisi”, said AIBA Interim President Dr Mohamed Moustahsane.

Mohamed Moustahsane, AIBA Interim President

At the same time AIBA plans to organise the meeting in 2020 when situation in Europe becomes better.

“I hope you and your families stay healthy and that the coronavirus will be eradicated soon. Your health is our priority and we will do this forum when the circumstances are better”, addressed Dr Moustahsane to National Federations.

Ghana Rugby Launches #EachforEqual Women’s Day Competition

The Ghana Rugby Football Union (Ghana Rugby) will once again embrace International Women’s Day in 2020, this time with a competition whereby all the ladies of Ghana rugby or from anywhere in the world will be invited to take part.

The International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual. The organisation describes this year’s theme as follows on their website

“Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.

Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.

A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious – so what’s not great about that?

The race is on for the gender equal boardroom, a gender equal government, gender equal media coverage, gender equal workplaces, gender equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth … so let’s make it happen. Let’s be #EachforEqual.”

The President of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, has placed “Women in Ghana Rugby” high on his and his administration’s agenda since he took office on 5 June 2014.

“I am convinced that Ghana’s rugby ladies are going to become a major force on the world stage of rugby in the foreseeable future. In 2019 our Ghana Eagles sevens women surprised the rugby world by winning the Rugby Africa Challenge Trophy in Tunisia in their very first appearance in an international match. We are ready to build on that success-platform,” Mensah said.

Mensah also said that Ghana Rugby will play its first women’s fifteens matches in March 2020 between teams from CentWest and Greater Accra and that he is convinced that the Ghana Fifteens Women’s Eagles will surprise the Africa rugby world when it enters the Rugby Africa women’s fifteens tournament in 2021.

Ms Rafatu Inusah, Board Member and Women’s Representative of Ghana Rugby, said that ‘#EachforEqual’ has been her mantra from the day when she was tasked to drive Women in Ghana Rugby.

“With the support from our President and Board Chairman women’s rugby has blossomed and we are ready to show the world that we can match the men’s performance and indeed better on it!” Inusah said.

Ghana Rugby Launches #EachforEqual Women's Day Competition
Ghana Rugby Launches #EachforEqual Women’s Day Competition

Inusah also showed the Ghana Rugby ladies the way on how to enter the fun competition to celebrate Women’s Day in 2020.

To enter the competition a lady, young or old, must hold a rugby ball in the fashion she demonstrates and say the words, “#EachforEqual”. The short clip can then be sent to Ghana Rugby via a competition entry form that can be accessed here:

An independent panel of judges will adjudicate the entries and award three prizes to the value of GHS 1,000, GHS 500 and GHS 250 for the best three entries.

Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria Repositions To Develop Nigerian Football

Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria, FIAN, European Football Agents Association, EFAA Congress, Reviewing proposed FIFA regulatory laws,The Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria (FIAN) has revealed plans to help the development of Nigerian football. This newly found zeal came on the background of its participation at the European Football Agents Association’s (EFAA) Congress held 13th February,2020, at Zurich, Switzerland.

The EFAA congress was a gathering of elite European football agents, including top executives of national associations of major football powers of England, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and other affiliate associations representing the interests of over 2000 professional agents from 18 countries, across the world.

The congress deliberated and adopted motions on enhancing the economic viability and professional conducts of associate intermediaries. And with special emphasis of the congress on resisting recent FIFA’s policy direction at restricting the role and financial rights of intermediaries at the local and international football sectors.

Reviewing some of the proposed FIFA regulatory laws on the conference floor, the FIAN delegation which comprised of Jideofor Obidike, Hilary Elezie, Michael China and Oyeyemi Taiwo Joshua, spoke in unison with other international participants to unanimously resist the proposed capping of Intermediaries’ Commission at 3% by the apex football authority; stopping of dual representation, and recertification of all Intermediaries registered after 2015.

Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria Repositions To Develop Nigerian Football
Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria Repositions To Develop Nigerian Football

According to the Public Relations Officer of FIAN, Kelvin Irikefe, the body is buoyed by renewed collaborations and synergy with EFAA President, Ron Jansen and the executives, as well as other affiliate associations.

Irikefe remarked that FIAN will be deploying the experience garnered from the conference to bear on its vision aimed at improving and sanitising the football intermediary sector from rogue operators soiling the body’s image.
He went onto restate the desires of FIAN to continue to work in harmony with Nigeria Football Federation and other concerned stakeholders to develop the Nigerian football industry.

Akeem Busari

Tiyamiu Kazeem Death: NANPF Appreciates Gov. Dapo Abiodun and Soname’s Roles

The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers( NANPF), has sent a ‘thank you’ message to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun for his prompt intervention and roles to douse tension in the state on the aftermath of the unfortunate killing of Remo Stars footballer, Tiyamiu Kazeem by security officers.

The message contained in a statement signed by the General Secretary of NANPF, Comrade Austin Popo, it described the quick intervention and concern of the state governor on the matter as ‘fatherly’.

“We are delighted to note that the amiable Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun after intervening to ensure that peace and justice prevail on the matter, also paid a condolence visit to the family home of the late player. That is, indeed, humane and very kind of him,” Popo stated.

The late Tiyamiu Kazeem

“On behalf of the President of NANPF, Tijani Babangida, MON, the entire members of the union and particularly, the family of the deceased player, we also extend our heartfelt appreciation to the President of Remo Stars FC, Hon. Kunle Soname, for the supportive roles he has played so far on the matter,” he added.

Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers add Billy Baptist and Ahmed Hamdy to their Basketball Africa League roster

Three-time league champions Rivers Hoopers have secured the signature of American Billy Baptist and Egyptian Ahmed Hamdy Mohamed.

Baptist spent his 2013/2014 season in the NBA Developmental League for the Bakersfield Jam. He appeared in 42 games for the Jam and averaged 7.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 1.2 APG.

Billy Baptist
Billy Baptist
photo credit: Rivers Hoopers

The 32 year old small forward moved on to London Lightning in Canada where he averaged 5.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.5 APG.

Baptist, an undrafted pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has also played for Baxi Manresa and Unicaja Malaga in Spain, Merlins Crailsheim in Germany and Keflavik in Iceland.

Meanwhile, Mohamed averaged 16.2 PPG, and 10 RPG while shooting 54.5 percent from the field as a freshman at Lee College in Baytown, Texas in the 2014/2015 season.

The 26 year old power forward was one of nine Egyptian-born players on an NCAA team, seven of whom played an NCAA Division 1 team.

Ahmed Hamdy
Ahmed Hamdy
photo credit: Rivers Hoopers

Mohamed also averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG while shooting 47.7 percent as a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and helped the Rams as they are fondly called to a 26-9 record as he played in 33 of 34 games and nine starts in the 2016/2017 season.

The 6’9” Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness graduate at VCU had a wonderful senior season a year later averaging 5.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 13.2 minutes per game.

Billy Baptist photo credit: Rivers Hoopers
Billy Baptist
photo credit: Rivers Hoopers

Both players join Kaylon Tappin whom the KingsMen signed on Tuesday to the Hoopers’ roster for the Basketball Africa League.

Ikpea Bemoans Spate Of Deaths in Nigerian Football

The late Tiyamiu Kazeem

The National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea has lamented the recent spate of deaths in the Nigerian football community.

Speaking with journalists in his office in Lagos, Ikpea, described the deaths of Remo Stars player, Tiyamiu Kazeem, who was killed by security officers and that of former Golden Eaglets assistant and Kano Pillars coach, Kabiru Baleria, who died Tuesday after a brief illness, as one death too many.

Chairman of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea,

The boss of the foremost supporters club in Nigeria, while acknowledging that death is inevitable, however, admonished security officers and members of the public on the needs to be mindful on the safety of lives and properties.

” The NFSC regrets this spate of deaths. And we pray that God will grant the families and friends of the deceased, the strength and fortitude to bear these losses,” the businessman cum football enthusiast said.

” We agree that death is an inevitable end. However, lives shouldn’t be taken or lost carelessly. This period in our football life calls for prayers and sober reflections. May this dark clouds pass away, forever,” the clergyman intoned emotionally.

Akeem Busari

Tiyamiu Kazeem death: Nigeria Players Union Suspends Protest March

The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has suspended its planned protest march slated for Abuja over the alleged killing of Remo Stars FC defender and vice captain, Tiyamiu Kazeem by security officers.

In a statement signed by the General Secretary of NANPF, Comrade Austin Popo, informing its state councils, NAC, members and the general public, it stated that the union reached the decision to temporarily suspend the protest march after due consultations with relevant bodies, as well as the compelling conditions of the matter.

The statement read; “Following preliminary dialogues between the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers led by its President Tijani Babangida MON, and and SA to the NFF President on Security, Chikelue Iloenyosi, a trustee of the union, and C P Umar Garuba Baba (Interpol), S A to IG on Public Policy and Strategies, Jude Nwaukor, coupled with the public outcry on the killing of Kazeem, leading to the subsequent intervention of the Inspector General of Police, M A, Adamu and his timely instructions to the DIG (FCID) Anthony Ogbizi, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Kazeem, NANP’s President Babangida has requested for a temporary suspension of the planned Protest mass Rally scheduled to hold in Abuja on 2nd of March 2020.

Tiyamiu Kazeem

It further reads; “It is important to note that part of the reasons the Union initiated the proposed mass protest rally, was to draw the attention of the IG due to the orchestrated plans by the Ogun State Police Command to cover the truth of the incidents that led to the unfortunate death of Kazeem.

“In view of this latest developments and coupled with the underground moves by some unscrupulous elements to hijack the planned rally, and of course, with its negative consequences of endangering the lives of our players, stakeholders and members of the public who had volunteered to be part of the Rally, the union had to take the best decision for now to temporally suspend the protest march, while still monitoring developments.”

Conclusively, the union acknowledges the unflinching commitments of its members, solidarity supports it has continued to enjoy by stakeholders in the football community, as well as members of the public, in its relentless efforts to engender a better life during and after active careers for Nigerian footballers, home and diaspora.